“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
Kent and Queen Anne’s County Indivisible
Weekly Newsletter, 3/13/2017
This week is the Maryland State Education Association’s annual week of coordinated activism. In addition to action items for various topics each day this week, we’ll also list the MSEA daily action item so you can participate with concerned citizens around the state to make your voice heard and let our lawmakers know the value of public education. This year’s Week of Action starts on Monday, March 13 with the March to Protect Our Schools and runs through Friday, March 17. If you want to learn more about any of these issues, visit mseanewsfeed.com to find out more about MSEA’s legislative priorities. And to get MSEA text alerts: text MSEA to 84693.
March 22, 6:00 p.m., will be the next KQA Indivisible meeting at the Kent County Library meeting room.
Rep. Andy Harris says he WILL finally be attending a public town hall event for his constituents. His office is advertising that this public meeting will be held on March 31 at Chesapeake College from 7-8PM.
Theatres across the nation are scheduling viewings of George Orwell’s 1984 in early April as a sign of support for the National Endowment for the Arts, which Trump is proposing to eliminate. Plans are in the works for a screening in Chestertown, so stay tuned for more information on this.
Task Force Update:
It is NOT TOO LATE to sign up for a task force to work with others in our community and really make a difference. Please send an email to the appropriate email address:
Immigration/Foreign policy Foreign.KQAIndivisible@gmail.com
Civil Rights (formerly Marginalized Communities) CivilRights.KQAIndivisible@gmail.com
We are especially in need of members who want to work locally on activities and events through the Grassroots Task Force. (Think topical town halls, film screenings and discussions, coordinated travel to marches or other events, local demonstrations, etc.) If you’re interested in this, please email us at email@example.com to let us know.
Your Week of Action!
Local: The MD House passed a bill banning fracking in Maryland last week with a veto-proof number of supporters. The bill now goes to the state Senate. Call State Senator Stephen Hershey to tell him you support a ban on fracking in Maryland for the health and safety of the Chesapeake Bay and all those who depend on it. Sen. Hershey’s office numbers are (410) 841-3639, (301) 858-3639, and 1-800-492-7122, ext. 3639 (toll free).
National: Apparently, regulations are not the only thing being cut in Washington. “For the first time in its 45-plus years of existence, the EPA Science and Technology Office no longer has the word "science" in its mission statement.” http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Tax-VOX/2017/0309/Why-EPA-s-science-and-tech-office-no-longer-has-science-in-its-mission Let’s let our legislators know that we want science to play its proper role in government and on our websites.
Monday (March 13): Hundreds of educators will be marching to the offices of you delegates and senators to tell them to vote for the Educators’ Agenda of less testing, more opportunity, and protections against privatization. RSVP here or text MARCH to 84693. If you can’t join march, them email your legislators about Less Testing, More Learning Act (2% cap): http://e-activist.com/page/6710/action/1
Local: If you’re on Facebook, join the group Hear Us, Hogan!: “We have been contacting Governor Hogan to ask for a meeting and still haven't gotten a meeting with the Governor or any staff. We are committed to repeatedly asking the Governor for a meeting and meeting weekly to remind the Governorabout what is important.” Use their Google Docs form to send a message to the Governor about the value and necessity of public education. https://www.facebook.com/groups/170605043432552/
National: Call Rep. Andy Harris and tell him you object to HB 610, which will negatively impact the already limited resources available to students on the Eastern Shore.Tuesday (March 14): Wear red for public education and share your pics using #ProtectMDSchools on social media. Then call your elected officials in Annapolis and ask them to support HB 978/SB 871, the Protect Our Schools Act of 2017. You can reach them at 888/520–6732 or go to http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=64214 for email
Tuesday (March 14): Wear red for public education and share your pics using #ProtectMDSchools on social media. Then call your elected officials in Annapolis and ask them to support HB 978/SB 871, the Protect Our Schools Act of 2017. You can reach them at 888/520–6732 or go to http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=64214 for email
Local: The Healthy Working Families Act passed the Maryland House of Delegates and will now be considered by the Senate. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research estimates, “more than 700,000 Marylanders -- nearly 40% of the state’s workforce -- are unable to earn paid sick days to use when they or a family member are ill.” Learn more able the bill here and call State Senator Stephen Hershey in support of SB 472.
National: There is SOOOOOOOO much to question or object to in the now public proposed replacement for the ACA. Here’s a great article with visuals to help you learn more. Call Rep. Andy Harris’ office with questions and comments:202-225- 5311, 410-643- 5425, 443-944- 8624, or 410-588- 5670. Call Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen too and let them know how important the ACA is.
*** MoveOn.org is reporting the calls to members of Congress regarding the ACA and health care have slowed down. Now is the time we need to call to make sure our voices are heard!
Also of concern: In 2008 GINA, or the Genetic Privacy and Nondiscrimination Law, was passed to protect workers’ genetic and health information. A new bill, HR 1313, would override some of these protections, allowing employers to demand that employees undergo genetic testing and health screenings. Such a bill could be especially problematic for those who rely on protections afforded by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Learn more and call Rep. Andy Harris to object.
Wednesday (March 15): With Trump and DeVos calling for nationwide voucher programs, it’s important for Maryland to take the lead on stopping school privatization. Call 888/520–6732 and ask your state legislators to oppose Gov. Hogan’s charter school bill and private school voucher program (BOOST) or email your legislators from http://e-activist.com/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1791&ea.campaign.id=65976
Civil Rights/Immigration Thursday:
Local: The Trust Act is currently in the Maryland State Assembly, would bar police and sheriff’s offices from complying with federal regulations to hold undocumented prisoners beyond their scheduled release date. This is based on the TRUST Act, a bill passed in California intended to protect undocumented aliens. Contact your state representatives and senators to voice your support for this legislation.
National: After his first immigration ban executive order was blocked by five federal judges, Trump signed a new executive order last week, a more limited version of the immigration ban. What’s new?
The new order does not apply to U.S. residents with green cards or visitors with valid visas.
Iraq has been dropped from the list countries covered, and it bars travel from the other six countries for 90 days.
It no longer bars Syrian refugees from resettlement in the U.S. but stops that process for 120 days. ,
The order eliminated the provision that would have allowed easier access for Christian refugees.
This order is scheduled to go into effect March 16. According to Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the ACLU, “This is a retreat, but let’s be clear –it’s just another run at a Muslim Ban." Legal challenges can be expected, and first will likely be from Hawaii.
How are immigrants and refugees currently vetted? Check out the process from two different sources:The Heritage Foundation (yes!) or NPR’s This American Life.
Rep. Andy Harris recently stated: “I applaud President Trump for doing everything he can to assure that immigrants from countries which are either state sponsors of terrorism, or where ISIS has significantpresence, will be properly vetted before entry. This temporary pause in immigration from those six countries was long overdue - giving our law enforcement and Homeland Security officials adequate time to work to develop vetting measures that will protect us from terrorist infiltrators.” Call Congressman’s Harris’ office to ask what specific problems he thinks there were with the vetting procedures and what specific improvements he thinks need to be made.
Thursday (March 16): Ask your representatives to stop the efforts of Gov. Hogan’s State Board of Education to forcibly turn struggling schools into charter schools and redirect their funding to private school vouchers. Email them here and ask them to support the Protect Our Schools Act.
Friday (March 17): Tweet your elected officials in Annapolis and tell them to #ProtectMDSchools. You can find their Twitter handles at ProtectMDSchools.com/tweet. Not on Twitter? Call your legislators instead and ask them to pass the Protect Our Schools Act. You can reach them at 888/520–6732.
The freedom of the press and Americans’ free speech are First Amendment rights we need to not only protect, but learn to use! Consider writing a letter to the editor for a local or state publication. Get some direction on how to most effectively use the media to voice your concern and then get writing! Reclaim Democracy: http://reclaimdemocracy.org/effective_letters_editor/
And keep up the pressure on our members of Congress to investigate the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. Here’s an article with great visuals to help you keep up with who, what, when, where, why and how.
The More You Know!
The folks at Indivisible Guide have shared the following:
“Watching a major piece of legislation like the ACA repeal bill begin to move through the process may bring up a lot of questions for your group. Sometimes, how a bill becomes a law is a bit more complicated than what we all learned in Schoolhouse Rock! As former congressional staffers, we want to help out. Here are our the latest explainers on elements of congressional procedure, which we hope shed some light on what exactly Congress has been up to over the last few weeks.”
Legislative Process 101 - House of Representatives Committee Action
What is the Congressional Budget Office?
Regular Order in Congress
Need a little pat on the back to keep you in the activism game? Check out Revel, Reflect, Recharge: “Fantastic resources abound that highlight and simplify our most important daily actions. This email is to help you stay energized and sane because we're in it for the duration” http://tinyletter.com/revel-reflect-recharge/letters/how-to-really-power-your-actions
Local Request: A member of our group knows of a local immigrant family who could use some help. They are in search of a single bed. If you have one to donate, please contact George Shivers at 410-778-3696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.